Antonio Conte has spoken about his departure from Juventus, insisting the time was right for him to leave the Turin giants.
The 45-year-old has a deep association with the Bianconeri, having helped them win five league titles, one Coppa Italia, a UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Cup during a 13-year spell as a player in which he made over 400 appearances. After spells at Arezzo, Bari, Atalanta and Siena, he succeeded Luigi Delneri as Juve coach in the summer of 2011.
Conte led the Italian giants to the Serie A title in each of his three seasons in charge, before leaving to take over from Cesare Prandelli as head coach of the national side in the summer. And although he still had 12 months remaining on his contract when he made this decision, the former midfield player insists it was the right time to leave the club.
“When you have a strong sentimental relationship, there comes a time when it’s right to separate – for the good of everyone,” Conte told Il Processo del Lunedi. “It’s hard to understand if you’re a fan, but everything was done with good intentions. My relationship with [Andrea] Agnelli, [Giuseppe] Marotta and [Fabio] Paratici isn’t broken. The relationship remains, but I thought and I said that after three years we had reached the end.
“In three years, Juve built a skyscraper from the ground up. [When I took over] the team was coming from two seventh-place finishes, and it wasn’t easy to bring in the right mentality. However, by the time we went to the training camp I realised I had at my disposal a group of players willing to overcome any obstacle. I had a great team, and along with the President we believed we could achieve miracles. And that’s what we did.”